Shore diving can be immensely exciting if you can find a suitable place, but nothing can be compared to a boat diving and usually most beautiful place on the Earth can be reached by boat. Diving boats are pretty expensive and you need to invest a lot in their maintenance. If you are visiting some place and you want to experience scuba diving, it may be cost effective to look around for some boating company. They will provide you all the equipment you need, but still, what kind of boat you should look for and what should you expect from it?
When you are considering to visit some diving center, the most important thing is to review the shape and the conditions of the boats – they all should have safety equipment and to run smoothly.
We are about to present you a small checklist to help you in determining which boat is the best for your needs.
- Does a boat have safety equipment?
- Is there are a certain type of boat for different types of diving and the environment?
- What facilities should boat have?
- Is there are staff on the boat and are other divers experienced?
Every boat should be equipped with safety and diving equipment. This equipment needs to be regularly maintained and checked. The boat company needs to meet certain regulations and standards and in the most cases to exceed them. Ask them about emergency procedures, in case something goes wrong.
You cannot choose one specific style of a dive boat. Depending on sea conditions or types of diving, the dive boat should have specific features that will accommodate its function. For example, if you are diving in the UK, where is cold water and large waves, you will need a bigger boat that has a lift on the back because it will provide you easier exit and entry. On the other hand, if you are diving at some tropical island, you will require a smaller boat to get you faster to the sites.
Regarding the facilities, they all should be well maintained and designed, but all of this also depends on the size of the boat. You should ask the boating company if they have showers there, a place to sit down, wash mask and if they provide refreshment and snacks.
Depending on a diving company, they may decide to bring one or more staff on board, if they are experienced you shouldn’t be too stressed how many staff is on board, you only need to follow their instructions.
The boats who have proven to be the best for scuba diving so far are:
Ribs: known also as Zodiacs in the U.S.; they have a rigid bottom, but they are also lightweight and sensitive, they can carry from 4 to 12 people, depending on the size, their engine is strong and it can go 60 nautical miles per hour. Ribs are excellent boats for short trips.
Day boats: they can carry from 10 to 30 people, made of wood or steel. They have very comfortable facilities from showers and toilets to a pantry.
Live-a-boards: there are the large boats, usually 100 feet long or more and they have full living quarters. These can accommodate from 20 to 40 people. They have a platform designed for diving and you can live on them for several weeks and explore diving in a best possible way.
The first type of boat is a rowboat. These are usually between 10 and 20 feet long and weigh up to 150 pounds for a heavy duty one. Most come with 2 larger seats that can fit an adult or two children, and sometimes a small seat in the front. The oars are typically hooked to the side of the boat and held in place so the user can simply moved the oars to go forward or backward. Rowboats are best for a romantic date or some exercise.
The motorboat is the next kind. These come in all shapes and sizes as there are thousands of brands of them. The price range varies tremendously based on a multitude of factors like brand, size, seating, motor, and even location of purchase. Motorboats are a good one to rent if it’s available because they’re generally pretty cheap for a few hours of use and you can zoom around the lake, river, or ocean and cover a lot of distance in a little bit of time, especially if you’re looking for a good fishing spot. Speed to your location to get in position, toss the anchor overboard, and start catching fish!
Canoes are a smaller kind of boat that typically fit the same amount of people as a row boat, except it’s usually only one person paddling. Make sure you take turns. This is a major arm workout and wears you out quickly. Canoeing is another great date idea, much like the rowboat. The local sporting goods store will have a canoe for $100 or so.
Sailboats are just as expensive if not more than motorboats, depending on many of the same factors. These types of boats have a huge sail, connected to a rudder in the back of the boat that’s used to steer. Bring one of these out on the water on a windy day and you’re going to have an amazing time sailing around. Better hope the winds stay up though, otherwise, you’re stuck 🙁
A raft can be classified as a boat because it floats and carries people, but I don’t personally believe it is. A raft is usually a collection of wood beams held together by nails, screws, or rope and meant to carry a reasonable amount of weight in the water. They float nicely until you add a little too much weight and they start sinking. I’ve had this happen before. Not a fun time! Look for one that has slightly raised sides if you want to use it because you don’t want the water constantly flowing over the wall into the middle of the raft as you’re paddling around. Out of all the boats, this is your slowest method by far.
The next kind of boat is a kayak. These are really fun! It’s basically a way cooler version of a canoe. They come in one and two-person setups, but don’t get the 2. Go for the 1 person so you can paddle around freely. It’s more fun that way. Plus, you can race your friends. Kayaks are what people use when they want good exercise or want to take on some white water rapids, anywhere from class 1 to 5. I’ve never tried the rapids before, but I have friends who did and it sounds amazing. My kayak is an obnoxious yellow color, so I’ll need to buy a new one soon that better fits my style.
The last type of boat for my post today is the pontoon. These are the ultimate in relaxation. If you’re going to get one, trust me on this – spend the money to get one that has the canopy top and a decent size outboard motor. You want to be able to relax in the sun OR the shade, have shelter if it rains, and have a boat that’s quick enough to speed back to shore if something happens. My friend dislocated his shoulder out in the water and luckily we had a fast boat, so we could race him back to shore and get him to the hospital quickly. Lesson learned and now it’s been shared 🙂